What Facebook Knows
The project’s research and writing was discussed in Vice News.
To answer these questions conclusively, academic researchers have said that Facebook could very easily clear the air by releasing more of its data. But just as the company keeps its algorithm under wraps, the company has thus far declined to share broad data about the customers who use its advertising tools, making it difficult for investigators to learn how the cyberoperations were executed across Facebook.
Facebook says it plans to cooperate with investigators. “We have been in touch with a number of government officials who are looking into the 2016 U.S. presidential election,” the company said in a statement. “We will continue to engage with officials as their investigations continue.”
“[Facebook] has the metadata to identify precisely which accounts were created, where they operated, and what kinds of things those users were up to during the U.S. election,” wrote Oxford digital propaganda researchers Philip N. Howard and Robert Gorwa in a May 20 op-ed in the Washington Post. “Their data scientists could probably provide some insights that the intelligence services cannot.”
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